R E D

IMG_0092 (2)

There are 1,795 species within the genus of the plant family called Begoniaceae (Wikipedia). They are commonly referred to as begonias. The image above is simply one example of this flowering plant.

Colors, shapes, sizes, leaves, buds, flowers, stems make each begonia unique…rather like people. Whether they are native to the soil where they originally thrived or are imported to a local nursery or store, the beauty of these flowers is in the eye of the beholder.

Certainly there are more grand and complex flowers than the begonia, but few genus’ have as many species. And, each species may produce thousands, if not millions, of the same plant type. Yet, each one is totally unique. Again, I am reminded of all the variations within the species of Homo sapiens.

Although red is not my favorite color, I have owned several red vehicles and find red blossoming flowers to be special. Perhaps red colored cars produce a significant contrast against the background of dull pavement and the abundance of white vehicles. And, it may be that when red blossoms are compared to vivid green leaves and stems they stand out so well.

As Mike Savage, a local Kansas City artist states, “Art is simple. You either like it or you don’t”. The same holds true with flowers, trees, birds, music, clothing, buildings, etc. However, there is one thing which should never be placed in the category of being liked or disliked.

People, as in ethnicity, gender and age.

Color, customs, language, tribe, religion, culture or any other differences should not be liked or disliked, but celebrated for their uniqueness. As long humans strive for peaceful co-existence they can all be red for that matter!

STAFF of LIFE

Wheat Field (Olathe) 6-1-12 am 014

Wheat, the staff of life, and so much more. The green blades to golden grains not only provide food for the world (sorry to all those who are gluten intolerant), but create a collage of beauty as they germinate from bright green sprouts in the winter, then grow into light green stalks in spring, and eventually turn into golden strands with prickly heads of grain in summer. Wheat is at its most exquisite best when a gentle breeze blows the mature stems in patches of waves that seem as light as clouds. Mesmerizing to watch. When shafts of early or late sunlight ply across a wheat field, an intense gold color presents itself in majestic panorama. Absolutely beautiful. And, when the combine or scythe take down the grains in early summer, the transition from a dormant seed to a life-giving grain is powerful. Quite transforming. To witness the staff of life develop from seed to strand is nature’s art in progress. I count this process a privilege to witness every year. So, I encourage you to grind some wheat, knead some dough, bake a loaf, and enjoy a hot slice of bread with a fresh pad of butter on it. Yummy to be sure, and one of life’s simple pleasures!